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Esther Rolle (I) (1920–1998)

Best known for the role of Florida Evans on the 1970s sitcoms "Maude" and "Good Times," African-American actress Esther Rolle proved to be as spirited and iron-willed off-camera as well. The gap-toothed actress with the gravelly voice was born in Pompano Beach, Florida, the 10th child of 18 born to Caribbean farming immigrants. Her first important... See full bio »

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Known For

Good Times
Good Times Florida Evans
Driving Miss Daisy
One Life to Live
One Life to Live Sadie Gray #2 (1971)
Rosewood Aunt Sarah


Hide Hide Show Show Actress (44 credits)
 2000 Train Ride
Dean of Students
 1998 Down in the Delta
 1998 Poltergeist: The Legacy (TV Series)
Grandma Rose
- La Belle Dame Sans Merci (1998) ... Grandma Rose
 1997 Rosewood
Aunt Sarah
 1995 How to Make an American Quilt
Aunt Pauline
 1994 Scarlett (TV Mini-Series)
- Episode #1.1 (1994) ... Mammy
 1993 To Dance with the White Dog (TV Movie)
 1993 Message from Nam (TV Movie)
Queenie / Elizabeth McQueen
 1993 House of Cards
 1991 Blackbird Fly (Short)
 1990 The Kid Who Loved Christmas (TV Movie)
Esther Clayton
 1990 Singer & Sons (TV Series)
Sarah Patterson
- Our's Not to Reason Why Shmy (1990) ... Sarah Patterson
- Once Bitten (1990) ... Sarah Patterson
- The Boxer Rebellion (1990) ... Sarah Patterson
- Two Sons for Singer (1990) ... Sarah Patterson
 1989 Age-Old Friends (TV Movie)
Mrs. Baker
 1989 The Mighty Quinn
Ubu Pearl
 1987 P.K. and the Kid
 1985 Murder, She Wrote (TV Series)
- Reflections of the Mind (1985) ... Margaret
 1983-1985 The Love Boat (TV Series)
Lillian Randolph / Judge Kramer
 1985 The New Mike Hammer (TV Series)
Viola Green
- Deadly Reunion (1985) ... Viola Green
 1984 Finder of Lost Loves (TV Series)
- Goodbye, Sara (1984) ... Nellie
 1983 Fantasy Island (TV Series)
 1982 The New Odd Couple (TV Series)
Mrs. Gibbs
- The Ides of April (1982) ... Mrs. Gibbs
 1982 Flamingo Road (TV Series)
- The Harder They Fall (1982) ... Julia
- The Bad and the Beautiful (1982) ... Julia
- The High and the Mighty (1982) ... Julia
 1981 Darkroom (TV Series)
Grandmother / Old Woman
- Needlepoint (1981) ... Grandmother / Old Woman
 1981 See China and Die (TV Movie)
Momma Sykes
 1979 The Incredible Hulk (TV Series)
Colleen Jensen
- Behind the Wheel (1979) ... Colleen Jensen
 1979 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (TV Movie)
 1978 Summer of My German Soldier (TV Movie)
 1978 Winners (TV Series)
Shenendoah Griffin
- Journey Together (1978) ... Shenendoah Griffin
 1973 Don't Play Us Cheap
Miss Maybell
 1973 Cleopatra Jones
Mrs. Johnson
 1971 The Bold Ones: The Senator (TV Series)
Black Woman
- A Single Blow of a Sword (1971) ... Black Woman
 1968 One Life to Live (TV Series)
Sadie Gray #2 (1971)
 1967 Up the Down Staircase
Teacher (uncredited)
 1964 Nothing But a Man
Church Woman
Show Show Soundtrack (2 credits)
Show Show Thanks (1 credit)
Show Show Self (21 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (9 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage: Appeared in "Don't Play Us Cheap!" by Melvin Van Peebles on Broadway. Musical/fantasy. See more »

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

[on her insisting to the producers of Good Times (1974) that the show have a husband and father figure] I told them I couldn't compound the lie that black fathers don't care about their children. I was proud of the family life I was able to introduce to television. See more »


Is an honorary member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. See more »


Her deep raspy voice See more »

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Recent Posts
Remembering Esther Rolle junetenbrown
missing her happydayz1976
Esther Rolle was the most excellent actress i have ever seen young_dizzy05
'Damn, Damn, Damn!' jotamawes
Elegance, Grace, and Strength all in one! nowagain
earth-mother jmcdonald-17
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